Microsoft Granted Patent for Apps where you buy stuff. Yup! Approved from 2004.

| April 22, 2011 | 5 Replies

Buying stuff from your phone, from apps to services to actual physical items. Quite normal now and perhaps something you would have expected everyone to be doing on their mobile phones. Did we envision that this buying of stuff would be done through an “app” (well what else was going to do it? App being equal to ‘a computer programme’?)

The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has basically granted Microsoft a patent (applied for in 2004 -years before iPhone, though Nokia were already shoving .sis apps, though not through unified app channel -) for an application that lets you buy stuff.

Check it out:

The various embodiments of the invention relate to a device for making purchases over the Internet, i.e., a client portal, which is optimized for fulfilling a specific function or performing a particular task. For example, the client portal may be optimized for reviewing and purchasing electronic books (hereafter referred to as eBooks). To achieve this optimization, the client portal may have limited or specific functionality. Thus, the client portal may only access sites from a list of available sites preselected or maintained by an authorized party, such as the portal’s publisher. Still further, some embodiments of a client portal according to the invention may only access those sites that offer the product that the portal is optimized to purchase (e.g., eBooks). Additionally, the portal may be implemented as part of an application (e.g., an eBook reader) such that the portal seamlessly retrieves content from a network and integrates the content into the application in a single operation.

Because the portal is dedicated to performing a specific task, the user interface for operating the dedicated portal may also be simplified to include only those controls useful for performing the assigned task. This interface simplification makes the dedicated client portal easier to use for the assigned task than, e.g., a general-purpose browser program. Further, dedicating the client portal to a specific task allows the authorized party to maintain a degree of control over the use of the portal, thereby permitting the authorized party to sell access through the client portal. Moreover, the authorized party can ensure that the merchants that maintain the preselected sites present their information in a consistent manner, so that the user can easily navigate all of the preselected sites. For example, the authorized party can ensure that all of the preselected sites selling eBooks organize the titles of the eBooks into catalogs based upon, e.g., genre, time period, authors, etc. Further, the authorized party can ensure that all of the merchants that maintain preselected sites are reputable, and employ consistent financial transactions for the purchase of their products.

You can check out the patent in more detail

Lets look at engaget tags to summarise what those may be?

android market, AndroidMarket, app, app store, apps, AppStore, e-book, e-commerce, ebook, ebook store, EbookStore, microsoft, patent, patents, payment, portal, retail, retail sales, RetailSales, shopping, uspto
Plus whatever other apps seem to “buy stuff”.
So yeah, think Amazon’s Kindle app but think more broadly too: Ovi Store, App Store, MarketPlace. Good thing yesterday we heard that as part of the Microsoft deal with Nokia, they now deeply share each other’s intellectual properties “mechanisms put in place to share intellectual property”. Windows Phone, Symbian and S40 will all be be published and distributed through a “single developer portal”.
Arms at the ready.
What’s going on with Apple’s AppStore trademark thing that Microsoft vehemently opposed? Maybe they can keep the name but are kinda legally not allowed to even have one any more?
Google is trying hard to get some Nortel patents to ‘protect itself’ in the patent wars. Skynet/Google is arguably much more troublesome for MS. Elop’s number 1 priority for Nokia was to “beat Android”.
What will Microsoft do?
Cheers Adnan for the tip!

Category: Windows Phone

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